PASO DOBLE

History

The Paso doble is a dramatic interpretation in dance of the matador facing a bull in the traditional bullring, and originated in southern Spain. Paso doble translates as 'two step', and developed from the march at the start of a bullfight. The Paso doble is the dance in which the story telling element is crucial to its success.

The dance

The man plays the role of the matador, while the woman will need to play not only the cape, but also the bull, and sometimes a flamenco dancer. Above all, the Paso doble should be dramatic and intense - the dancers must commit to the attitude of the dance.

The dance should include strong, dramatic walks, with apels (a strong stamp of the foot), with elements of flamenco in the footwork. Because of the dramatic nature of the Paso doble, postures and lines are extremely important, so expect to see strong arms and hands, as well as very masculine toreodors.

Both the men and woman will have bold costumes, with men often wearing a bolero jacket like the matadors in the bullring. Unusually for latin dances, the woman's dress will sometimes be a full length dress, but with a wide flowing skirt to allow them to mimic the look of the cape, and will almost always be a strong, bold colour such as deep blood red, black, electric purple or a striking plain white.

The judges in Strictly Come Dancing will be looking for attitude - intense, strong, aggressive, whilst always maintaining the story of the bullfight.

The best of Strictly

The first perfect score of series nine was awarded to a fantastic paso doble from Chelsee Healey. In a striking contemporary dress, Chelsee and her partner Pasha gave a very traditional but beautifully executed routine, danced to the song "Malaguena" with beautiful characterisation and a fantastic flamenco section, the judges couldn't fault her and gave her four perfect 10s. It was Craig's first 10 of the series, calling it "Paso personified".

Not far behined, were Austin & Erin in series six scored three 10's and a total of 38 points for their routine to 'Espana Cani'. Holly danced in series 9 with Artem, and it was during Movie Week that they danced to the theme from the film, The Mask of Zorro and Holly received her first two 10s and her highest score of the series with 38 points, Alesha praising her perfect hands and arms and Bruno dubbing Holly a Spanish sorceress.

Jill & Darren also danced to 'Espana Cani' in their semi-final dance in series 2, earning her first 10 of the series from Arlene, who for many years after cited it as the best paso doble she'd seen on Strictly. They scored a total of 37 points for the routine.

The worst of Strictly

There have been some terrible Paso doble routines in Strictly history, probably the most often mentioned, is Chris & Hanna from series one, where at one point Chris runs around the ballroom with arms aloft hold the cape over his head. Unsurprisingly, they received only 15 points.

Probably the most disappointing dance also came in series 1 from Verona & Paul. Due to work and personal commitments, Verona's training hours were limited during the week they danced the paso, and Paul made up for it by taking control of the dance himself, with a bare upper torso and the cape wound around his waist to start, he gave a fantastic demonstration of paso cape work while leaving Verona stood on the side of the dancefloor clapping in time to the music. The judges commented and awared them only 24 points, while the audience noticed and voted them out of the competition that week.

Scores for all Paso Doble performances:

Series 1
      Judges scores  
Couple Song Date CraigArleneLenBruno Total
Claire & JohnEspana CaniWeek 4887831
Verona & PaulBoleroWeek 4566724
Lesley & AntonScott & Fran's Paso DobleWeek 4778830
Chris & HannaBamboleoWeek 6345315
Natasha & BrendanCarmina BuranaWeek 7899935

 

Series 2
      Judges scores  
Couple Song Date CraigArleneLenBruno Total
Sarah & BrendanBring Me To LifeWeek 4876829
Julian & ErinEntry Of The ToreodorsWeek 4456520
Diarmuid & NicoleL'Amour Est Un Oiseau RougeWeek 4345517
Aled & LiliaMalaguenaWeek 7778830
Jill & DarrenEspana CaniWeek 79109937
Denise & IanDon't Cry For Me ArgentinaWeek 7999936

 

Series 3
      Judges scores  
Couple Song Date CraigArleneLenBruno Total
Colin & ErinThrillerWeek 4878831
Dennis & IzabellaEye Of The TigerWeek 4235515
James & CamillaMontagues and CapuletsWeek 4787729
Bill & KarenCarnival De ParisWeek 4567725
Darren & LiliaDon't Let Me Be MisunderstoodWeek 4899834
Zoe & IanManolitaWeek 9888933
Darren & LiliaDon't Let Me Be MisunderstoodWeek 10999936

 

Series 4
      Judges scores  
Couple Song Date CraigArleneLenBruno Total
Matt & LiliaI Would Do Anything For LoveWeek 4777728
Mark & KarenScott & Fran's Paso DobleWeek 4899935
Peter & ErinTheme From Mission ImpossibleWeek 4256619
Ray & CamillaIt's My LifeWeek 4787830
Louisa & VincentLeft Outside AloneWeek 8889934
Emma & DarrenExplosiveWeek 99991037

 

Series 5
      Judges scores  
Couple Song Date CraigArleneLenBruno Total
Kelly & BrendanYou Give Love A Bad NameWeek 5777728
Letitia & DarrenLive And Let DieWeek 5788831
Kenny & OlaTake Me OutWeek 5456621
Dominic & LiliaEl Gato MontesWeek 5577625
Matt & FlaviaSmooth CriminalWeek 5788831
Kate & AntonSomebody Told MeWeek 7457521
Alesha & MatthewToccataWeek 10999936
Gethin & CamillaStanding In The Way Of ControlWeek 118810834

 

Series 6
      Judges scores  
Couple Song Date CraigArleneLenBruno Total
Lisa & BrendanEye Of The TigerWeek 6778729
Christine & MatthewFighterWeek 6367622
Cherie & JamesAmparitoWeek 6788831
Mark & HayleySince You’ve Been GoneWeek 6236516
John & KristinaRodrigo's Guitar ConcertoWeek 6366621
Jodie & IanSong 2Week 6667726
Tom & Camilla(I Just) Died In Your Arms TonightWeek 7898934
Rachel & VincentThe Final CountdownWeek 11788932
Austin & ErinEspana CaniWeek 11101081038

 

Series 7
      Judges scores  
Couple Song Date CraigDarceyLenAleshaBruno Total
Lynda & DarrenDevil WomanWeek 35-77625
Zoe & JamesYou've Got The LoveWeek 37-88831
Natalie & VincentMalaguenaWeek 36-78728
Ricky & NatalieSpanish Gypsy DanceWeek 48-99935
Joe & KristinaLivin' On A PrayerWeek 43-56519
Jo & BrendanBecause The NightWeek 43-66520
Ricky & ErinOne VisionWeek 47-78729
Ali & BrianEl Gato MontesWeek 78-98833
Laila & AntonLaylaWeek 87-78830
Chris & OlaI Believe In A Thing Called LoveWeek 96-89730
Austin & ErinBohemian RhapsodyChristmas9-99936

 

Series 8
      Judges scores  
Couple Song Date CraigLenAleshaBruno Total
Kara & ArtemThe Phantom Of The OperaWeek 59910937
Jimi & FlaviaThrillerWeek 5778830
Gavin & KatyaUprisingWeek 5577726
Ann & AntonWild ThingWeek 5255416
Felicity & VincentHabaneraWeek 6687829
Michelle & BrendanAmerican WomanWeek 7477624
Scott & NatalieJames Bond ThemeWeek 10899935
Pamela & JamesBad RomanceWeek 11899935
Matt & AlionaDon't Let Me Be MisunderstoodWeek 12989935

 

Series 9
      Judges scores  
Couple Song Date CraigJenniferLenAleshaBruno Total
Jason & KristinaI Want It AllWeek 46-77727
Nancy & AntonRodrigo's Guitar ConcertoWeek 43-55518
Alex & JamesBring Me To LifeWeek 57-88831
Robbie & OlaBadWeek 54-78726
Lulu & BrendanHighway To HellWeek 56-78829
Russell & FlaviaCarmenWeek 647-6724
Holly & ArtemThe TrainWeek 109-9101038
Chelsee & PashaMalaguenaWeek 1110-10101040

 

Series 10
      Judges scores  
Couple Song Date CraigDarceyLenBruno Total
Richard & ErinO FortunaWeek 4557522
Kimberley & PashaHungry Like The WolfWeek 4887831
Fern & ArtemEspana CaniWeek 5666624
Denise & JamesSeven Nation ArmyWeek 6999936
Victoria & BrendanBicycle RaceWeek 7567624
Louis & FlaviaDirty DianaWeek 8677727

 

Series 11
      Judges scores  
Couple Song Date CraigDarceyLenBruno Total
Dave & KarenI Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That)Week 3255416
Rachel & PashaManeaterWeek 5466622
Ben & KristinaSupermassive Black HoleWeek 6789832
Mark & IvetaI Lost My Heart To A Starship TrooperWeek 6667625
Fiona & AntonSong 2Week 7577726
Ashley & OlaYou Give Love a Bad NameWeek 8899935
Susanna & KevinLos ToreadorsWeek 8910101039
Abbey & Aljaž You Got The Love Week 9 8 8 8 8 32
Natalie & Artem El Gato Montes Week 11 9 9 8 9 35
Sophie & Brendan Montagues and Capulets Week 12 8 9 9 9 35
Patrick & Anya Because The Night Week 12 7 8 9 9 33
Susanna & Kevin Los Toreadors Week 13 9 10 10 10 39

 

Series 12
      Judges scores  
Couple Song Date CraigDarceyDonnyLenBruno Total
Frankie & KevinAmericaWeek 389109945
Mark & KarenTheme from 'Superman'Week 36697735
Tim & NatalieThe BestWeek 436-5519
Caroline & PashaLive and Let DieWeek 589-8934
Simon & KristinaPoisonWeek 668-7829
Jake & JanetteBlack BettyWeek 667-8829
Judy & Anton I Fought The Law Week 7 3 5 - 5 5 18
Steve & Ola Use Somebody Week 7 6 8 - 7 7 28
Pixie & Trent The Eve Of War Week 8 9 9 - 10 10 38
Frankie & KevinAmericaWeek 13910-101039

 

Series 13
      Judges scores  
Couple Song Date CraigDarceyLenBruno Total
Anthony & OtiEye of the TigerWeek 3465419
Peter & JanetteHe's A PirateWeek 3777728
Kirsty & BrendanBeautiful DayWeek 4466521
Carol & PashaEspana CaniWeek 4566522
Jay & AlionaIt's My LifeWeek 5898833
Katie & AntonThe Phantom Of The OperaWeek 6466521
Kellie & KevinSchool's OutWeek 6777728
Anita & GlebMalaguenaWeek 99109937
Georgia & GiovanniThe Final CountdownWeek 10888933
Helen & AljažAt The End Of The DayWeek 11889934
Jay & AlionaIt's My LifeWeek 13910101039

 

Series 14
      Judges scores  
Couple Song Date CraigDarceyLenBruno Total
Tameka & GorkaEl Gato Montes/Y Viva EspanaWeek 1667726
Danny & OtiThe Train/El Sombrero BlancoWeek 3999936
Ed & KatyaHolding Out For A HeroWeek 4255416
Robert & OksanaBorn This WayWeek 6888832
Daisy & AljažPlease Don't Let Me Be MisunderstoodWeek 6888933
Claudia & AJShut Up And DanceWeek 7888933
Greg & NatalieTamacunWeek 8788831
Louise & KevinExplosiveWeek 999101038
Ore & JoanneEverybody Wants To Rule The WorldWeek 108991036

All dances from highest scoring to lowest scoring

Couple Song DateScore*
Chelsee & PashaMalaguenaSeries 9, Week 1140
Susanna & KevinLos ToreadorsSeries 11, Week 839
Susanna & KevinLos ToreadorsSeries 11, Week 1339
Frankie & KevinAmericaSeries 12, Week 1339
Jay & AlionaIt's My LifeSeries 13, Week 1339
Austin & ErinEspana CaniSeries 6, Week 1138
Holly & ArtemThe TrainSeries 9, Week 1038
Pixie & TrentThe Eve of WarSeries 12, Week 838
Louise & KevinExplosiveSeries 14, Week 938
Jill & DarrenEspana CaniSeries 2, Week 737
Emma & DarrenExplosiveSeries 4, Week 937
Kara & ArtemThe Phantom Of The OperaSeries 8, Week 537
Anita & GlebMalaguenaSeries 13, Week 937
Denise & IanDon't Cry For Me ArgentinaSeries 2, Week 736
Darren & LiliaDon't Let Me Be MisunderstoodSeries 3, Week 1036
Alesha & MatthewToccataSeries 5, Week 1036
Austin & ErinBohemian RhapsodySeries 7, Christmas36
Denise & JamesSeven Nation ArmySeries 10, Week 636
Frankie & KevinAmericaSeries 12, Week 336 (45)
Danny & OtiThe Train/El Sombrero BlancoSeries 14, Week 336
Ore & JoanneEverybody Wants To Rule The WorldSeries 14, Week 1036
Natasha & BrendanCarmina BuranaSeries 1, Week 735
Mark & KarenScott & Fran's Paso DobleSeries 4, Week 435
Ricky & NatalieSpanish Gypsy DanceSeries 7, Week 435
Scott & NatalieJames Bond ThemeSeries 8, Week 1035
Pamela & JamesBad RomanceSeries 8, Week 1135
Matt & AlionaDon't Let Me Be MisunderstoodSeries 8, Week 1235
Ashley & OlaYou Give Love a Bad NameSeries 11, Week 835
Natalie & ArtemEl Gato MontesSeries 11, Week 1135
Sophie & BrendanMontagues and CapuletsSeries 11, Week 1235
Darren & LiliaDon't Let Me Be MisunderstoodSeries 3, Week 434
Louisa & VincentLeft Outside AloneSeries 4, Week 834
Gethin & CamillaStanding In The Way Of ControlSeries 5, Week 1134
Tom & Camilla(I Just) Died In Your Arms TonightSeries 6, Week 734
Caroline & PashaLive and Let DieSeries 12, Week 534
Helen & AljažAt The End Of The DaySeries 13, Week 1134
Zoe & IanManolitaSeries 3, Week 933
Ali & BrianEl Gato MontesSeries 7, Week 733
Patrick & AnyaBecause the NightSeries 11, Week 1233
Jay & AlionaIt's My LifeSeries 13, Week 533
Georgia & GiovanniThe Final CountdownSeries 13, Week 1033
Daisy & AljažPlease Don't Let Me Be MisunderstoodSeries 14, Week 633
Claudia & AJShut Up And DanceSeries 14, Week 733
Rachel & VincentThe Final CountdownSeries 6, Week 1132
Ben & KristinaSupermassive Black HoleSeries 11, Week 632
Abbey & AljažYou Got The LoveSeries 11, Week 932
Robert & OksanaBorn This WaySeries 14, Week 632
Claire & JohnEspana CaniSeries 1, Week 431
Colin & ErinThrillerSeries 3, Week 431
Letitia & DarrenLive And Let DieSeries 5, Week 531
Matt & FlaviaSmooth CriminalSeries 5, Week 531
Cherie & JamesAmparitoSeries 6, Week 631
Zoe & JamesYou've Got The LoveSeries 7, Week 331
Alex & JamesBring Me To LifeSeries 9, Week 531
Kimberley & PashaHungry Like The WolfSeries 10, Week 431
Greg & NatalieTamacunSeries 14, Week 831
Lesley & AntonScott & Fran's Paso DobleSeries 1, Week 430
Aled & LiliaMalaguenaSeries 2, Week 730
Ray & CamillaIt's My LifeSeries 4, Week 430
Laila & AntonLaylaSeries 7, Week 830
Chris & OlaI Believe In A Thing Called LoveSeries 7, Week 930
Jimi & FlaviaThrillerSeries 8, Week 530
Sarah & BrendanBring Me To LifeSeries 2, Week 429
James & CamillaMontagues and CapuletsSeries 3, Week 429
Lisa & BrendanEye Of The TigerSeries 6, Week 629
Ricky & ErinOne VisionSeries 7, Week 429
Felicity & VincentHabaneraSeries 8, Week 629
Lulu & BrendanHighway To HellSeries 9, Week 529
Simon & KristinaPoisonSeries 12, Week 629
Jake & JanetteBlack BettySeries 12, Week 629
Matt & LiliaI Would Do Anything For LoveSeries 4, Week 428
Kelly & BrendanYou Give Love A Bad NameSeries 5, Week 528
Natalie & VincentMalaguenaSeries 7, Week 328
Mark & KarenTheme from 'Superman'Series 12, Week 328 (35)
Steve & OlaUse SomebodySeries 12, Week 728
Peter & JanetteHe's A PirateSeries 13, Week 328
Kellie & KevinSchool's OutSeries 13, Week 628
Jason & KristinaI Want It AllSeries 9, Week 427
Louis & FlaviaDirty DianaSeries 10, Week 827
Jodie & IanSong 2Series 6, Week 626
Gavin & KatyaUprisingSeries 8, Week 526
Robbie & OlaBadSeries 9, Week 526
Fiona & AntonSong 2Series 11, Week 726
Tameka & GorkaEl Gato Montes/Y Viva EspanaSeries 14, Week 126
Bill & KarenCarnival De ParisSeries 3, Week 425
Dominic & LiliaEl Gato MontesSeries 5, Week 525
Lynda & DarrenDevil WomanSeries 7, Week 325
Mark & IvetaI Lost My Heart To A Starship TrooperSeries 11, Week 625
Verona & PaulBoleroSeries 1, Week 424
Michelle & BrendanAmerican WomanSeries 8, Week 724
Russell & FlaviaCarmenSeries 9, Week 624
Fern & ArtemEspana CaniSeries 10, Week 524
Victoria & BrendanBicycle RaceSeries 10, Week 724
Christine & MatthewFighterSeries 6, Week 622
Rachel & PashaManeaterSeries 11, Week 522
Richard & ErinO FortunaSeries 10, Week 422
Carol & PashaEspana CaniSeries 13, Week 422
Kenny & OlaTake Me OutSeries 5, Week 521
Kate & AntonSomebody Told MeSeries 5, Week 721
John & KristinaRodrigo's Guitar ConcertoSeries 6, Week 621
Kirsty & BrendanBeautiful DaySeries 13, Week 421
Katie & AntonThe Phantom Of The OperaSeries 13, Week 621
Julian & ErinEntry Of The ToreodorsSeries 2, Week 420
Jo & BrendanBecause The NightSeries 7, Week 420
Peter & ErinTheme From Mission ImpossibleSeries 4, Week 419
Joe & KristinaLivin' On A PrayerSeries 7, Week 419
Tim & NatalieThe BestSeries 12, Week 419
Anthony & OtiEye of the TigerSeries 13, Week 319
Nancy & AntonRodrigo's Guitar ConcertoSeries 9, Week 418
Judy & AntonI Fought The LawSeries 12, Week 718
Diarmuid & NicoleL'Amour Est Un Oiseau RougeSeries 2, Week 417
Mark & HayleySince You’ve Been GoneSeries 6, Week 616
Ann & AntonWild ThingSeries 8, Week 516
Dave & KarenI Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That)Series 11, Week 316
Ed & KatyaHolding Out For A HeroSeries 14, Week 416
Chris & HannaBamboleoSeries 1, Week 615
Dennis & IzabellaEye Of The TigerSeries 3, Week 415

*The score for any dances marked by five judges have been adjusted down to allow for fair comparison, so the score in this column is the adjusted score followed by the actual score in brackets.

Austin & Erin's traditional paso from series 6:

 

Another traditional song choice from Ricky & Natalie in series 7:

 

Not the highest scoring, but one of my favourites from series 5 - Letitia & Darren: